Owen makes hot start in Mexico
Bunched leaderboard after opening day at El Camaleon
Last Updated: February 24, 2012 2:18pm
Greg Owen: Just one shot off the pace after the opening round
Englishman Greg Owen has made a strong start to the Mayakoba Classic in Mexico, firing a four-under-par 67 to stand one shot off the pace after 18 holes.
First round leaderboard
(US unless stated)
-5 W Claxton
-4 C Howell III
-4 G Owen (Eng)
-4 M Turnesa
-4 J Huh
-4 A Canizares (Spa)
-4 M Anderson
-4 M Every
Click here for collated scores
The 40-year-old from Nottinghamshire offset three bogeys with seven birdies and, at the end of the opening day at El Camaleon, is one of eight players tied for second place.
The early leader is American Will Claxton who, similar to Owen, is yet to win on the PGA Tour.
Claxton's bogey-free 66 included four successive birdies and one of the players tied-for-second is his compatriot Charles Howell.
At number 71 in the world Howell is the third highest-ranked player in the tournament and the Augusta-born pro said: "This golf course, it really keeps your attention off the tees.
Lot of trouble
"There's a lot of trouble out there and you must not get ahead of yourself here.
"The golf course almost helps you stay where you're at just because it demands a lot of focus and attention on it."
There were disappointing starts for defending champion Johnson Wagner and Spencer Levin, who lost a play-off here last year.
Johnson, who won the Sony Open in Hawaii in January carded a 73 and Levin, who blew victory in the following week's Humana Challenge in California, could only match that two-over par effort.
Course designer Greg Norman could only post a 79, while Europe's Ryder Cup skipper Jose Maria Olazabal opened with a one-over-par 72.
However, one veteran who did manage to trive was former Open champion Nick Price.
"I don't feel that you need to overpower this course," Price said. "This course has got a lot of strategy on it, particularly off the tees, putting the ball in the right place. All in all, I played well today."